Urban wear can be defined as a fashion style that combines culture, lifestyles and ideas. Urban fashion sprung up from the hip hop culture of recent years. In the late 80s and until the 90s, hip hop clothing lines came out designed by no less than the music artists themselves. They tried to add their own personal creativity and style into a fashion that is already unique in itself. Urban fashion breaks away from the mainstream by embracing exactly that individuality and by not conforming to the trends. Even though it is said that urban fashion originated in New York, it quickly spread and developed integrating influences from Europe, Asian, Caribbean and African cultures as well as a variety of music genre like hip hop, punk, rock, and even indie music along the way.
Urban clothing line also embraces the practicality of things. The design and concept of urban fashion makes it possible to wear them on a normal day. It is often referred to as the fashion of the streets. But urban fashion is not street wear. The latter is often associated with vintage sneakers and school dresses which in some places have developed into the punks, gothic and hippies subcultures. Urban fashion is more edgy and often incorporates the words practical, functional and comfortable. Urban clothes are light and yet they should be durable and look good as well.
The idea is create a clothing line that can work well in normal urban environment. The sophisticated and extravagant mainstream fashion produces stiff, formal and even constricting clothes not very suitable in an environment where you need to move and adapt quickly to changing situations. And because each urban environment is a little different, urban styles are different from city to city. Take the urban fashion of Japan for example. Innovative designs, the use of the most practical of materials and the unique mixing of personal and commercial styles characterize their urban clothes. You can find in Japan fashion subcultures like Lolita, gothic and the now popular cosplay fashion style.
Speaking of culture, the differences of urban fashion around the world is highly distinct. Because urban fashion is rooted on culture, the type of urban clothes in one country embraces the influences of their specific culture. For example, at one point in the American urban fashion scene hip hop artists which more often than not are African-Americans dove into their African cultural heritage and borrowed a lot of elements and integrated them in their clothes. The very loose and baggy pants, the use of African bright color combinations, the use of African patterns were at that time became a trend among artists and trickled down to the consumers.
In summary, urban wear and how does it differ lies mainly on the cultural heritage of the place and on their own uniqueness. Compared to the mainstream and traditional fashion style, urban wear is more practical with emphasis on comfort, individuality and aesthetics. The designs also focus on the needs of the average urban dweller and follow no fixed rules that we know of.